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I've been using highway=path, bicycle=yes. If a dedicated MTB track, then also foot=no.

But I've also seen highway=cycleway, cycleway=track, bicycle=yes used. I know that cycleway=track, bicycle=yes is redundant, but I can see that highway=cycleway is more explicit to dentote that it is mainly or exclusively for bicycles. However cycleway to me evokes a paved track in an urban setting. Perhaps highway=cycleway, surface=unpaved.

I haven't been able to find a definitive ruling on the Wiki which is a bit odd as there is a lot of MTB single track out there.

asked 04 Jan '11, 14:19

andrewfr's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

I'm starting to think we may need to be bold enough to actually propose something different. Singletrack is singletrack, and is not just (always) just a footpath that happens to be mountain bikeable. A track that is purpose built for mountain biking should, in my very humble opinion, have a real tag like highway=mtb.

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answered 11 Oct '11, 00:46

Stevage's gravatar image

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You can also use the tags for mtb:scale to specify the difficulty of mountain bike trails. That should make it clear that its not just a paved urban cycleway, and it may have a poor surface or obstacles etc.

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answered 04 Jan '11, 21:50

Vclaw's gravatar image

accept rate: 22%

There's no "definitive ruling", and there's unlikely to ever be. Also, don't try to infer any meaning from the words "path" or "cycleway" outside the context of OpenStreetMap - there's nothing inherently paved or urban about either of them.

There are two options for mapping paths:

  1. Use highway=path and other tags to say what is permitted
  2. Use highway=footway or highway=cycleway or highway=bridleway or ... as appropriate

Neither approach is particularly right or wrong, but the existence of two alternatives is just something we need to live with. Don't worry about it too much.

P.S. You said "I know that cycleway=track, bicycle=yes is redundant", but you're misunderstanding something somewhere. The two tags describe separate things:

  • cycleway=track means that a road (e.g. highway=secondary) has a cycle track running parallel and separated by a kerb. Don't use cycleway=track on highway=cycleway or highway=path.
  • bicycle=yes means you are legally permitted to ride your bike on the feature (e.g. highway=secondary)
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answered 04 Jan '11, 15:58

Andy%20Allan's gravatar image

Andy Allan
accept rate: 28%

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question asked: 04 Jan '11, 14:19

question was seen: 10,058 times

last updated: 11 Oct '11, 00:46

NOTICE: is no longer in use from 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum